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What To Know About Economic Relief Payments

In March, the CARES Act – a $2 trillion economic relief package – was signed into law. A provision of the law will provide financial relief to many Americans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Below you will find answers to common questions regarding these economic relief payments.

1. How large a payment will I receive?

The CARES Act outlines the parameters of who is eligible to receive a payment. The Internal Revenue Service is the agency responsible for determining eligibility. In general, single adults with an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less will get $1,200. Married couples earning a combined adjusted gross income of $150,000 or less will receive a total of $2,400. Individual and married taxpayers earning over $75,000 and $150,000 respectively will get reduced payments with full phase-outs at $99,000 and $198,000. There are additional $500 payments for dependent children.

For complete eligibility information please visit the IRS website.

2. Will college students be eligible to receive a payment?

College students not claimed on another taxpayer’s return are eligible for the rebate.

For complete eligibility information please visit the IRS website.

3. When will I receive my payment?

The Department of the Treasury began sending the payments to consumers across the country on April 15. If you filed taxes in 2018 or 2019 and included your bank routing and account number for payments or refunds, and this information has not changed, the IRS has the information it needs to send your payment electronically.

For Social Security recipients, the IRS will use direct deposit by the Social Security Administration to facilitate payments. If the direct deposit information you have provided in the past is for a bank-issued prepaid debit card, you will receive your funds on that card account.

If the IRS does not have your information on file, recipients will be mailed a check. Check payments will follow weeks or possibly months after the direct deposits are sent.

You can check the status of your payment by visiting the IRS' "Get My Payment" web tool.

4. Can I receive my payment electronically if my current information is not on file with the IRS?

The IRS is offering a web portal called "Get My Payment" where you can check the status of your information and your payment. In addition, the IRS has launched a web tool allowing quick registration for those who don’t normally file a tax return. For the most up-to-date information, visit

While the IRS has extended the tax filing deadline this year from April 15 to July 15, another option is to file your 2019 taxes as soon as possible with bank routing and account number provided on the form.

5. What if I am typically not required to file a tax return?

People who typically do not file a tax return and are not Social Security beneficiaries will need to file a simple tax return to receive an economic impact payment. Certain low-income taxpayers, veterans and individuals with disabilities who are otherwise not required to file a tax return will not owe tax. The IRS will soon provide information instructing people in these groups on how to file a 2019 tax return with simple but necessary information, including their filing status, number of dependents and direct deposit bank account information. As noted above, Social Security recipients who have not been required to file tax returns will not be required to file a tax return to receive their payments.

6. What is a bank routing and account number?

Check Illustration

Bank routing and account numbers direct payments to the right bank account at the right financial institution. If you have a checking account at First Option Bank, the information is located on the bottom left hand corner of your paper checks or can be found on any statement. First Option Bank’s routing number is 101114109

7. I have a bank account. Can I still receive a paper check?

Yes, but be aware that your payment will be slower than an electronic transfer. Paper checks may be sent out months after the electronic checks are sent.

If you are opting to wait for a paper check, you can easily deposit the check into your account using First Option Bank’s Mobile App or visit one of our drive-thru locations.

8. What can I do to prevent fraudsters from accessing my funds?

There will be a large amount of funds disbursed to qualifying individuals. Accordingly, there is a risk for fraud of various types. The IRS has announced various ways individuals can be on guard against these types of bad activities. See the notice.

It is important to remember that banks or the federal government will never contact you by telephone, text or email asking for your account information. Do not provide any banking information to anyone claiming to be registering you for your relief payment.


Source: American Bankers Association Economic Impact Payment FAQ for Customers


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